Students to benefit from scholarships

Ten South Okanagan students will receive a boost to their college fund next spring thanks to a scholarship fund.

Ten South Okanagan students will receive a boost to their college fund next spring thanks to a scholarship fund.

The Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarship Fund marks its 10th year of awards in 2016.

During this time, the fund has provided more than $125,000 in scholarships at Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.

“We wanted to do something special for students of the region,” said Rick Thorpe.

The Thorpes have announced 10 scholarships, valued at $2,500 each, to be awarded to qualified students enrolling in first-year studies at Okanagan College in 2016.

Since the fund was established in 2006, more than $70,000 has been awarded to 30 recipients at Okanagan College. Students at UBC Okanagan have received more than $55,000 in awards from the fund.

“It is always such a pleasure to meet the recipients, hear their goals for the future, and share in their excitement,” said Yasmin Thorpe.

The Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarships will assist students who are a graduate of, or will be graduating from, a secondary school on the west side of Okanagan Lake, from Penticton to Killiney Beach, registering in full‐time studies at the college.

The award also supports students already enrolled at the college who are continuing their studies.

Recipients must be taking courses in business, viticulture, agriculture, engineering, tourism/hospitality, trades, technologies, English or creative writing, science, or nursing.

Kathy Butler, Okanagan College Foundation executive director, said many students have expressed their thanks and shared how the scholarships have helped them.

“The sheer gratitude expressed by the recipients, in the form of thank-you letters, emails, photos, and video messages for the Thorpes, is a testament to the impact these awards have had, and will continue to have,” says Butler.

“It made all the difference in the world to me,” said Corrie Knapp, who is currently entering her second year of nursing at the college.

“It came at a time when I was unsure how I was going to pay for school and manage other bills.”

After this year, Knapp plans to complete the final two years of her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at UBC Okanagan.

She hopes one day to put her skills to work in developing countries.

The application deadline for the 2016 Rick and Yasmin Thorpe and Friends Scholarships will be March 4, 2016.

Students are encouraged to review the application guidelines at okanagan.bc.ca/awards or financialaid@okanagan.bc.ca for more information.